A Gold Glove hope...

Andres Torres of the San Francisco Giants walks down the street during the San Francisco Giants victory parade.
Year Tm Pos G GS Inn Ch PO A E DP Fld% Awards
1999 TEX DH 135 AS,MVP-5,GG,SS
1999 TEX 1B 28 28 246.1 275 261 13 1 23 .996 AS,MVP-5,GG,SS

There it is. The only thing you'll ever need to know about the Gold Gloves. That's the defensive ledger for Rafael Palmeiro in 1999. He played twenty-eight games at first, and he earned his third consecutive Gold Glove. By this point, it's almost a cliche to trot out the Palmeiro example, but it's still amazing enough to mention every time the Gold Glove awards come up.

The Gold Gloves are ridiculous. They're the subjective opinions of people who would rather use astrology charts than defensive stats to judge players they watched for seven to 18 games this year. Not that I'm a huge UZR zealot, but there has to be a better way to award these things than coaches and managers voting for the names they know. Derek Jeter actually played shortstop for most of the season, so he isn't as bad of a choice as Palmeiro, but I wouldn't be surprised if Palmeiro has better range.

The Gold Gloves. Pfffft.

And yet it's impossible to describe how badly I want Andres Torres to win the Gold Glove.

It's an award that I don't care about, yet I so, so desperately want to validate the ridiculous center field defense I watched all season. Of all the center fielders for the Giants over the past two decades, only Tsuyoshi Shinjo, World Series DH, came close to Torres. I feel comfortable even saying that Torres had better instincts, first steps, and range than Marvin Benard. Seriously. No joke.

 

It's obvious to note that without Torres's bat, the Giants wouldn't have made the playoffs. It's probably true, though, to say the same thing about his defense. He had, uh, 21.2 UZRs, which, uh, extrapolates out to 24.8 UZRs over 150 games played, which means he saved a certain number of games with his glove, and he's responsible for a few extra wins...let's see...carry the two...circle the numerator...divide everything...

Fine. So I don't really know my way around defensive stats. But they agree with my perception and anecdotal evidence in this specific situation, so the stats are obviously right. The Giants made the playoffs for a variety of reasons. Andres Torres's defense was one of them. Without Torres playing as well as he did in center, it's possible, if not probable, that the Giants are still looking for their first championship in San Francisco. Which they aren't. Because the Giants won the World Series in 2010.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_World_Series_champions

So I want Torres to be rewarded. He deserves it, and even though the award is sub-Grammy in terms of importance outside of baseball, it still means something within the game. It would probably mean a lot to Torres. If a relatively unknown player like Michael Bourn could win one last year, Torres has a shot this year. I'm actually optimistic.

I also want the Giants to win everything because I'm greedy. I want Torres to win a Gold Glove and Buster Posey to win Rookie of the Year because I'm greedy. The championship was like that first bite of human flesh. There's no turning back. I want more championships, and I want my favorite players to win all the awards, and I want to invade other ballparks when the Giants play, just so the rest of baseball knows that it's Giants Nation all up in their yahd, and I...

That's odd. I didn't mean to drop that last "r" in "yard." It just happened. Hmm. Curious. Also, Andres Torres should win a Gold Glove. He's wicked good.

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